…Falana Calls For Probe
Central Bank’s governor, Godwin Emefiele on Wednesday received the nod of the Senate Committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions for another term.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week renominated Emefiele for a second term.
At the senate’s committee screening, the chairman, Rafiu Ibrahim (PDP, Kwara South) dismissed the leaked telephone conversation reportedly involving Emefiele and some senior officials of the bank over missing N500 billion from the coffers of the apex bank as blackmail meant to rubbish the CBN’s governor reputation.
He said, “I do not have any question for the Governor. I am overwhelmed. I wish you well and pray for you. May God continue to guide you.
“Now, we know the reason why there are some videos on social media because in Nigeria, once you are a good person, some people will always try to bring you down. We will expeditiously take a report to the chamber for consideration. You can take a bow.”
Emefiele told the Committee that Nigeria’s efforts are been sabotaged by some individuals whom he said will be made accountable.
“CBN will ensure that those who seek to undermine the policies of Nigeria will be brought to book. Pray for us because the road ahead is tough.
“On Agriculture, the credit should go to the President. It was what he said ‘eat what we produce’, that birth the anchor borrowers programme.
“We have started looking at Palm oil. The price of a barrel of palm oil is more than a barrel of crude oil. We will grow that market again. After palm oil, we will focus on cocoa in the south-west” he said.
In a related development,a human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has called on president Buhari to initiate a probe into the alleged missing N500 billion. Falana in a statement issued on Tuesday said the probe is necessary because of CBN’s history of coverups.
“Having carefully listened to the recorded telephone conversation of the Governor and top management staff of the CBN it is indubitably clear that the sum of N500 billion is missing from the CBN.
“The discussions clearly centered on how to cover up the monumental fraud including cooking up the books.
“It was even suggested that N2 billion be set aside to compromise the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“In view of the confirmation of the missing N500 bilion and the desperate moves to cover it up President Buhari should set up a panel of enquiry to probe the scandal.
“The press statement of the CBN management denying the fraud should be treated with disdain as it is a dubious attempt to play on the collective intelligence of the Nigerian people.
“The CBN has a penchant for covering up the criminal diversion of huge public funds.
“The bank covered up the sum of $12.4 billion in the dedicated accounts withdrawn from 1988-1993 by military president, Gen Ibrahim Babangida. In the same vein, CBN covered up the $7 billion withdrawn by ex-gov of the central bank, Professor Charles Soludo and purportedly placed as deposit in some unnamed banks.
“The Buhari regime which claims to be fighting corruption must not allow the central bank to cover up the missing N500 billion.”